From NA MDiv to RA/ATS DMin

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by eddie, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. eddie

    eddie
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    I will finish my MDiv at Luther Rice next year, so I want to start investigating DMin programs. It is not necessary for my church work, but I would like to pursue a DMin at a regionally accredited seminary. I would really love to pursue a SBTS DMin.

    Is there anyone out there who attended Luther Rice and went on to a RA and/or ATS accredited seminary for your DMin? If so, was there anything special you had to do to be admitted since LRU is NA?

    On the other hand, should I just do the Luther Rice DMin and not worry about trying to get into a RA DMin program? I would like to get input from the forum before I start calling admissions offices.

    Thanks for your input,

    Eddie
     
  2. Martin

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    ==I do not believe that the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will honor your MDiv from Luther Rice. You would have to check with them of course, but when I did my survey some time ago I was told that they will not accept degrees from Luther Rice. I believe Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary does, you may also wish to look into New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, or Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

    ==Call admissions on Tuesday. Call admissions at Southern, and any other school you maybe interested in. Hopefully Southern Seminary has changed its policy towards Luther Rice. You can stay at Luther Rice, but there are other options. I named three very good ones above. I would also point to Southern Evangelical Seminary.
     
  3. Rhetorician

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    Eddie & Martin Response

    Hey Guys and to all who have an interest!

    A few things come to mind for me:

    First, Broadus, my dear colleague, is a LR alum and also an SBTS alum. So he could help greatly with this discussion.

    Second, it seems that the RA & ATS implications for this thread are huge as the very least.

    Third, it seems to me, IMHO:tongue3: , that one would want "to build a house" (education) on a firm foundation such as an ATS or RA accredited degree. Later you might want "to go back to school" or go on to do grad work. And the person that meets this criteria could be "some upset" if s/he were forced to go back and "redo" a graduate professional (MDiv/DMin) degree or research graduate (MA) degree over again. No use "To lick this calf over again!" as they use to say in my part of Middle Tennessee.

    Just some wandering and wondering thoughts.

    sdg!:thumbsup:

    rd
     
    #3 Rhetorician, Sep 1, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2007
  4. Paul33

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    For the record, the US Department of Education considers the D.Min. a research degree equivalent to the Ed.D. and the Ph.D. They consider the J.D. and M.D. professional degrees.

    I'm sick of hearing how the D.Min. is a professional degree and the Ph.D. is a research degree. The D.Min. is a research degree in ministry, so says the US Department of Education.
     
  5. StefanM

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    USDOE doesn't matter, though. If the accreditation agencies and the schools think the DMin is a professional degree, the USDOE isn't going to change their minds.
     
  6. Paul33

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    Maybe not. But don't you think the seminaries have rigged their educational programs to take a lot more time and money in comparison to the university model.

    I'm sick of hearing how you have to have an M.Div. followed by a Ph.D. to teach at seminaries. What a joke.

    The European model requires a three year process of writing a dissertation. The American model requires another 8 classes before writing a disseration.

    And for what? To get professors into the classroom that couldn't teach their way out of a paper bag.

    In any event, I'm sticking with the US Department of Education on this one! :) And I'll take my D.Min. and teach online and make more than the professors at the seminaries. :laugh:
     
  7. StefanM

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    I'm definitely no fan of the current system. I think the standard seminary degree should be undergraduate, with an MA/PhD to follow for those who want to teach. It would be an essential mirror of the other academic fields.
     
  8. Rhetorician

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    Paul 33 Response

    To all who have an ear:

    Here is the gov. web page where that information originated:

    http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-research-doctorate.htm

    I agree that the DMin is a research degree. But, you go out and try to find a job teaching full time in the seminary with one. You might can if: you have written a bunch and are published, you have grown a really big church, you have an expertise that they need, or if you have some credibility that helps them name recognition wise.

    My two cents worth!

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    The DMin usually requires 3-5 years of experience in the pastorate following your MDiv. You can't go right from graduation with an MDiv to the DMin
     
  10. Broadus

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    Concerning the OP, I don't know at the moment whether SBTS will accept an MDiv from LRU (Luther Rice University still seems silly to me, but that's another thread) or not. I did an MDiv (1985) and DMin (1992) from LRS and then another MDiv (1998) and PhD (2003) from SBTS, so my situation was different and my experience is dated. You will just have to contact them and see. As Martin indicated, I think SEBTS may be more likely to accept a Luther Rice MDiv for its DMin program.

    Concering the DMin being a professional degree or a research degree, I will have to take issue with my good online friends about this one. When I was looking into doing a DMin, it was touted by seminaries as a professional degree. If you look at the courses and the major writing project requirements for most seminaries offering the DMin, you see a lot of requirements which have to do with the practice of ministry.

    Having said that, there are some exceptions. Rhet's DMin appears to have been more of a research degree, and Paul33's (at Gordon-Conwell, if I remember correctly) was likewise. However, I think those are exceptions and not the rule, or perhaps the DMin landscape is changing, a change which I welcome.

    When I did my DMin, I tried to tweak it to be more of a research than a professional degree. However, an examination of many DMin dissertations reveals the professional nature of the work. Often you see in the title the implementation of some aspect of ministry within the confines of the author's local church or parachurch ministry. At least that is how things were a few years ago when I last looked.

    Perhaps a thread comparing/contrasting DMin and PhD purposes and requirments would be help, or did we do something like that within the past year or two? ;)

    Blessings,
    Bill
     
  11. eddie

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    Martin,

    Thanks for your input. That's the kind of response I was hoping for. I will place those schools on my list.


    Pastor Larry,

    I've already been told by Beacon University (NA), where I received my Master's in Biblical Studies, that I can be admitted to their DMin program based on my LRU MDiv and ministry experience (I've been an associate pastor for 8 years). I also believe that I will qualify for admittance into LRU's DMin program when I finish my MDiv next year. So, I don't think that entering a DMin program right after I finish my MDiv will be a problem.


    Everyone,

    Please keep in mind that I do not need a RA DMin, nor am I the least bit interested in academic teaching. The Lord has graciously provided me a federal government job that pays well and a wonderful church in which to labor. Lord willing, I plan to keep my job and continue working as an associate pastor. At some point, though, I would like to be a bi-vocational senior pastor. So, if I can get into a RA DMin program, fine. If not, that's fine too.

    With all due respect, I did not start this thread to discuss how the USDoE classifies the DMin. And, please save the lectures on RA versus NA. :tonofbricks: As the Education Services Officer for Columbus AFB, I counsel students all the time about RA versus NA. I simply want input from anyone who has progressed from a NA MDiv to a RA DMin.


    Thanks!

    Eddie
     
  12. eddie

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    Broadus,

    Thanks for responding. I will contact SBTS and SEBTS. I'll let the forum know what I find out.


    Thanks,

    Eddie
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    Interesting. It might be the non-accredited nature of the school that will let you enroll with no experience.

    Let me ramble a bit.

    Early on (and still in the eyes of many) DMins were considered money makers. I think for some schools that is still true; for others not. Let me digress and come back.

    I agree with Rhet (I think he is the one who said it) on this one. Most schools (and people) reqard a DMin as a professional degree like a JD or an MD. There is, at credible schools, a large amount of research involved. It is just a different type of research. You could go into a PhD right out of a BA or MA becuase it was a research degree for the point of contributing an unique academic contribution to the field. In the DMin, it is expected you that you have experience in the field so that you are better able to evaluate and research the practice of ministry. After all, if you have never been a pastor, how can you interact in class with pastors who are discussing the application of the text to the pastorate?

    Back to the money thing now ... After a man left seminary, there was no wqy to get any more money from him so the DMin was created in order to lure them back, to get more money for relatively little investment. The emphasis, as I understand it, was not always on the quality of teaching. Many Dmins were not good programs (still aren't). Wasn't it Os Guinness who wrote a book or talked about "The D.Min.ization of Ministry"?

    Now some DMins are substantially more substantive now (is that redundant)? Some are actually worth doing. The danger is that a DMin tends to focus on doing rather than theology. There is an attitude out there that "If we were just doing things right, the church would grow." The church growth tool is a hammer and therefore everything looks like a nail. The reality is that we don't need better practitioners, administrators, planners, dreamers, visionaries. We don't need more programs, family life center, etc. We need better theologians who are better men of God.

    IMOO If a school will let you in their DMin with no ministry experience, then it probably isn't worth doing. You would be so far out of your league in interacting with the others in the class it would probably serve little benefit. I would skip it. If you have ministry experience, I would choose a DMin school based largely on professors. Many will be adjuncy (though some will teach on a regular shedule as well as the DMin). Look to see who they are and what they have written. For adjunct professors, look to see where they have ministered and what their specialty is.

    The big benefit of a DMin program is, to my understanding, the interative nature. I can get the syllabus of a DMin class and read everything and do the writing and benefit from it. But the interaction with others ia a huge benefit. This was also true in seminar classes in seminary.

    Bottom line: For me, I would stay away from a DMin that does not require substantial work and that does not require prior ministry experience.
     
    #13 Pastor Larry, Sep 3, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2007
  14. Martin

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    ==Your welcome. Just a point of fact: Luther Rice is accredited, nationally (via TRACS). As you probably already know that does not bring with it the level of recognition that regional accreditation does.

    Let us know what direction you go in. :thumbs:
     
  15. Martin

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    Since that is the case why not earn your DMin from Luther Rice? Or you could go through Liberty Seminary. Their DMin is "blended", a mixture of online and oncampus. I don't know if that will work for you but if you wish to stay in your current location/job then something along those lines may very well work for you. Since you are in Mississippi, why not check out Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson? They offer a DMin degree program that is regionally and nationally accredited (as is Liberty's). I just thought that program maybe closer to you geographically. Sorry that I did not think of this option last time.

    Reformed Seminary Link (click on degree link): http://www.rts.edu/site/about/campuses/jackson/index.aspx

    Their DMin Program link: http://www.rts.edu/site/academics/degree_programs/dmin/index.aspx

    Of course you would need to see if they would honor your Luther Rice MDiv.

    I have contacted RTS for you and will see what they say. You will still, however, need to talk to them and verify any information I give you (since the person I get the email response from could be wrong).

    __________________________

    Liberty Seminary Link: http://www.liberty.edu/academics/religion/seminary/index.cfm?PID=13081

    Luther Rice University Link: http://www.lru.edu/Content.aspx?page=degree_dmin

    Of course Southeastern and New Orleans are still very good options. I am just thinking about your travel expenses (etc).

    Hope that gives you a few more ideas. :thumbs:
     
    #15 Martin, Sep 3, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2007
  16. eddie

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    Thanks Martin! You are da Man! Please let me know what you hear from RTS.

    I've been on the RTS campus many times. I've spent a bunch of money in their bookstore and several hours browsing through their library. I went to RTS a few years ago to hear D. A. Carson speak.

    So far, I have SEBTS, SBTS, RTS, NOBTS, and Liberty on my list of RA schools. If none of these work out I'll either stay at LRU or go back to Beacon U.

    We shall see!! :praying:


    Eddie
     
  17. Paul33

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    Hi Larry,

    I don't dispute anything you stated in your last thread.

    I'm thankful, however, that at G-C Seminary the resident faculty teach and lead the seminars and that the focus of the D.Min. is research oriented and substantive. In my case, historical theology!

    Blessings!
     
  18. Paul33

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    Agreed. I would make one adjustment. You earn an A.A. and then spend three years at the seminary for an M.Div. Or you earn a B.A. in Bible and then spend one year at the seminary for an M.Div.
     
  19. Paul33

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    Rhet,

    What does that say about our seminaries or Christian colleges?

    I'm glad I earned a M.Div. from Trinity and a D.Min. from Gordon Conwell, but if I could do it over coming out of college, I would have found a university Ph.D. program.
     
  20. Rhetorician

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    Paul33 Response

    Hello Paul!!!:thumbs:

    I hope you are well.

    I am not sure what you mean by your first comment in the quote above? Could you please clarify for me.

    Secondly, that is what I was going to do. But God, in His providence, had other plans. And I thought I needed a denominational MDiv as a "union card." And I must say that it is nice to have. I think it has opened some doors of opportunity that I may not have had opened otherwise.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     

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